Okay, I got the results of the CONNections competition and I ended up with an honorable mention. Not too shabby, huh? Well, maybe ....
Except according to my American CP who sent and received the contest entry and results, I got the highest scores from the first round judges. Then the final round judge loved my story, characters and voice. So what went wrong? I'm Australian. Yup- nice healthy dose of insular bigotry. Really, in this day and age of supposed equality, what am I suposed to do with that?
There was a time, back in the 80's I think, when Oz was flavor of the month, especially after Paul Hogan's Croc Dundee characatures gained popularity. (You'll notice he turned American though- married an American, moved to America, lost the Australian heart and soul that made him special and is now a pathetic has-been- not exactly a great role model) But those days of Australia being a selling card are gone. Now if we write what we know it goes against us. I think that's sad. It's also very frustrating.
I put the change down to terrorists. No, not the agents and editors that terrorize us on a daily basis (however unwittingly), but the real villains who stir up the public consciousness and wrap us all in fear. I think Americans (and to a lesser extent the rest of the world) are responding to that ambient threat, that unknown factor of unwarranted/unprovoked attack since 911. I think it makes them turn away from anything "not us" in suspicion, and consolodate anything "us" for comfort and reassurance. I also think this explains the swing away from straight romance in favor of rom sus. They want a kick-butt heroine who saves the world. They want to be that strong, overcoming person coz it makes them feel secure and safe.
So I guess I'm saying that I'm like the towers-- blown out of there by fear, hate and prejudice. And you know, in all its forms, that evil presence stinks!